In his letter to Government[1] from February this year, the Chairman of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) proposed the introduction of a mandatory and suspensory notification regime in the UK for “larger mergers”. The adoption of this proposal would result in the creation of a hybrid regime in the UK, with the notification…

Much has been written of the heightened risk of gun-jumping enforcement by competition regulators overseeing mandatory suspensory merger regimes.  This article will examine why merger parties and their advisers must also be alive to ‘gun-jumping’ risks in jurisdictions where pre-merger notification is voluntary and there are no automatic standstill obligations. Alongside the succession of ‘gun-jumping’…

At the time of writing, there is still a lot of uncertainty as regards the question of whether the United Kingdom will leave the European Union with an exit deal on 31 October 2019.  However, what is clear is that State aid regulation will continue in the UK irrespective of the way in which the…

The England and Wales Court of Appeal has overturned the Decision of the United Kingdom Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) in the collective proceedings Walter Merricks v MasterCard, where final consumers are represented by Merricks. This is an important decision because it ensures that financial damages are recoverable when a firm’s anti-competitive practices affect millions of…

In March 2019, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) issued its first fine on a company for concealing relevant evidence during a dawn raid, fining Fender Musical Instruments Europe Limited (“Fender”) £25,000.  This is the latest example of a trend among competition authorities to hold companies accountable for dawn raid procedural violations, (see, for…

Summary On 14 March 2019, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to close its investigation into a discount scheme by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD).[1] The CMA concluded that there were no grounds for it to take action, since MSD’s discount strategy was not likely to limit competition in anticipation of the…

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) recently welcomed the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of a challenge brought against a decision of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) by Balmoral, a supplier of steel water tanks. The CMA had fined Balmoral £130,000 in December 2016 for a single exchange of pricing information which, in the particular…

CMA Brexit Draft Guidance On 28 January 2019 the UK Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) issued draft guidance on the effects of any no-deal Brexit on the CMA’s functions and its enforcement approach. This guidance has been made more urgent by the continuing UK political divisions that have plagued the Brexit process and which could…

The CJEU’s judgment in MEO earlier this year seemed to be a welcome, final piece of the puzzle in the legal framework for analyzing when price discrimination is abusive. It was now relatively settled, it seemed, that for price discrimination to be an abuse of dominance, it must generally fall into one of two boxes…

The CMA’s recent “economic working paper” on the use of algorithms to facilitate collusion and personalised pricing follows on the heels of other work in this area (including by CMA) but is a bit different because it focuses on economic evidence and analysis. While there is nothing in it about the ‘lawfulness’ of a given…